Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela may be the world’s most respected statesman. He was born July 18, 1918 near Umtata in Transkei, in the Eastern Cape, into the royal family of the Tembu.
He studied at the British missionary Boarding school and at Fort Hare University. He eventually obtained a law degree from the University of South Africa. With other cooperators, he set up South Agrica’s first black law firm. In 1944, Nelson and his cooperators formed the African National Congress Youth League, which came to dominate the African National Congress(ANC) in 1948. He became president of the League in 1950.
Mandela was arrested in 1955 and was acquitted of treason in 1961. After the trial, Mandela took up an armed insurrection, travelling abroad for military training. Upon his return to South Africa, he went underground. He was arrested again on August 5, 1962 and charged with inciting people to strike. He was sentenced to five years in prison after neing found guilty of sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government. Mandela and seven comrades were convicted of sabotage and treason and sentenced to life in prison on 1964.
He spent the next 27 years in prison on Robben Island. After many secret talks with the South African’s President, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson was freed again in 1989.
He led his country in a transition to nonracial elections. He became president of the country and as president, his priority was racial reconciliation. Mandela stepped down in 1999 after a single five – year term.
He heads two foundations focused on children now.